In what was one of the closest votes among the WMMA Press Awards committee, InvictaFC strawweight champion Katja Kankaanpää is taking home the “Submission of the Year”.
The champion got the award for her d’arce choke finish over Stephanie Eggink in round 5 to win the vacant 115 title in September. This was a come from behind submission, as Eggink was up on the score cards. Fifth round submissions are rare, as is a d’arce choke in pro MMA bouts in general.
Kankaanpää has tasted defeat only once in her career, and has yet to be finished. It was her forth submission and her second d’arce choke win.
We talked to Kankaanpää about her award win.
Wombat Sports: Congrats on the winning the “Submission of the Year”. What does it mean for you to get the award in what was a hard fought match?
Katja Kankaanpää: I´m very taken about the award. The fight and opponent was very hard. I´m happy I won. It´s gives me extra pleasure that I won by choke what is my favorite technique.
Wombat: The submission win gave you the Invicta strawweight title. What does it mean to bring then title back to Finland?
Kankaanpää: I have received a lot of encouragement from back home and when I managed to win in tough place and bring the title to Finland, it was a pretty awesome feeling. MMA is marginal sport in Finland and with my victory MMA has received positive publicity in the Finnish media which is really great for increasing awareness of the sport.
W.S.: You just signed a new three fight contract with Invicta. How excited are you for 2015 and defending your title?
K.K.: I`m very excited. I can´t wait for my next fight. I know that the other girls from our division want to win the belt from me so it gives me extra motivation.
W.S.: Is there anyone you’d like to thank/add?
K.K.: Thank you for the award and thanks to fans and everyone who voted me. i`m really honored.